Quebec Holds First Carbon Permit Auction

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground. (National Journal)

The Canadian province of Quebec opens its carbon market Tuesday with an auction for carbon permits for the largest polluters in the province, Reuters reports.

Experts in California, which has a similar program in place to regulate carbon emissions, say it is hard to predict the clearing price for permits at the auction. In the latest auction held in California, permits sold for $11.48 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

The minimum price that permits can be sold for in Quebec's auction is $10.10 in U.S. dollars. The price will be increased by 5 percent in 2014 and adjusted upwards to account for inflation.